What To Do With Michael
Mike Viola has been back in residency with Kelly Jones at Joe's Pub for the last several weeks which always make everyone at the Pub happy. They've been celebrating the completion of Kelly's solo album which Mike co-wrote and produced and it's full of pop gems like this and this. You can stream the entire album at her site.
I'm feeling particularly lucky about the timing because the opening of the Joe's Pub gallery of my drawings and Kevin Yatarola's photography is this Friday from 6:30-8:30 at the Public Theater. Then we're gonna start celebrating and come back for Mike and Kelly's show at 11:30. You can get tickets to their show here. The gallery reception is free and you're all invited.
By the way, Mike's shows tend to go late and take on a form of their own. They also tend to feature a lot of guest stars and this week the super-secret extras are going to be Mandy Moore and Tracy Bonham. At Joe's Pub. At my After The After Party. (Not that these ladies know that Mike's show is my party. It's still my party and I'll lie if I want to.)
A number of artists who I have drawn over the last couple of years at Joe's Pub were asked to share their impressions of the archiving process we have at the Pub, specifically my drawings and Kevin's photography. Several artists responded warmly, but Mike Viola's generous response is one of the nicest descriptions anyone has ever offered about my work--made all the more special for how much I admire what he does-- and I quote it here in full:
"Whoever turns up at Joe's Pub for one of my midnight shows is there to hear the music. It really feels like are no casual listeners. Maybe cause it's so late, It's Friday, the week is behind us, the decision has been made to put off going upstate for the weekend and to hang around the city for one extra late night. The room is charged with an energy that's loose and spontaneous. There's this sense of structure that eventually forms by the end, like the whole thing was planned. I guess I could be describing the way Michael draws, I mean, we're both tapping into the flow of people in the room, making something raw out of it."